Mysterious Package Prompts ARG Speculation (Updated)


Update [12:50 CDT - CF]: More details uncovered by Destructoid suggest that Call of Duty publisher Activision is behind the mysterious mailing, as some Call of Duty community members have also received the package and Google Analytics groups with several other official Activision websites.

Original: An unmarked USB thumb drive appeared at the offices of gaming outlets yesterday and Joystiq has done an amazing job figuring it all out. The device, part of some video game's alternate-reality game (ARG) marketing campaign, contained various codes and ciphers.

Today, we received an unmarked USB storage device in a mysterious, unmarked envelope. The drive held a simple text file, with the following words: Cryptography; Isotope; Philanthropy; Hydrogen; Ember; Rebirth. Oh, this one's easy! Cryptography; Isotope; Philanthropy; Hydrogen; Ember; Rebirth. Cipher! But for what?

Through different methods of detective work, Joystiq uncovered the following website:, which shows an old-style television.

The postmark on the envelope containing the USB drive reads "USPS SOUTHERN MARYLAND P&DC", which is leading many to speculate that the ARG is being run by Fallout-publisher Bethesda. This could be an ARG for Fallout: New Vegas, in development at Obsidian.

MovieViral notes that the USB drive has gone out to "high-profile" Call of Duty fans, leading some to believe that this could be lead up to the announcement of a new Call of Duty game from Activision.

In any case, the end of the ARG yields "APRIL WEEK TWO" so stay-tuned for more information next week. Thanks to Shacknews community member Montykoro for sending this in.

Filed Under
From The Chatty
  • reply
    April 6, 2010 10:45 AM

    WTF is a "high profile" CoD player?

    • reply
      April 6, 2010 11:07 AM

      I think this means people who are willing to publish things on their websites so they free hype and marketing.

Hello, Meet Lola